Firefighters welcome drop in number of house fires
A REPORT into the performance of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has revealed a reduction in the number of house fires across the county.
The annual report details how the fire service performed in key areas during the last financial year.
Between April 2011 and March 2012, accidental house fires fell by 10% from 483 to 436.
The report, published last week, also found the number of people injured in house fires fell by 20% from 51 to 41.
The average cost of a house fire to the economy is £8,507, while vehicle fires cost £2,458 and commercial properties £30,570.
The fire service said it saved £400,000 this year because the number of house fires fell.
County Fire Officer, Max Hood, said: “The work we have been doing with our partners and local support agencies means that we are now even more effective at reaching those people most at risk.
“It’s really pleasing to see that work reflected in the fall in both accidental house fires and those injured as a result of a fire in their home.
“The challenge for us going forward is to maintain this high level of service in light of the increasingly tough financial climate we are operating in. The public can be confident that as a team we are fully committed to meeting that challenge.”
The report found the number of arsons fell to 1,221, while fires posing serious threat to people’s lives, known as critical fires, fell to 765.
It also found the fire service had met its targeted response time of eight minutes on 82.8% of occasions after receiving a 999 call.
But it failed to reach its target of increasing the availability of retained fire engines. It did see a 1.4% increase in availability on the previous year.
The fire service has attended 9,760 emergency incidents, rescued 49 people from fires, and attended 434 road traffic collisions this year.
In 2011 there were 1,893 reported accidents on the county’s roads – the fire service said it has worked to reduce this number by launching road safety projects and an anti-drink drive campaign with Sussex Police.
Christine Field, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “What this report clearly demonstrates is the skill, dedication and determination of our fire and rescue service colleagues to continue to reduce the number of emergency incidents and their consequences.
“I would encourage people to take the time to read the report and learn about some of the excellent work being done.”
To read the report visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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